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Russian Gas Exports To Europe Have Fallen Further Amid A Diplomatic Squabble

Russian Gas Exports To Europe Have Fallen Further Amid A Diplomatic Squabble
Russian gas supplies to Europe dipped further on Thursday, raising concerns about winter storage replenishment and creating a diplomatic spat as Russian producer Gazprom accused Western sanctions for impeding maintenance work.
The decrease in supplies comes as the leaders of Germany, Italy, and France visit Ukraine, where they are under pressure to deliver additional weapons to Kyiv for its battle with Russia and to support its aspiration to join the European Union.
On Thursday, Gazprom announced the second supply cut in two days along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, reducing flows to 40% of capacity.
The action, according to Germany's economy minister, is intended to create uncertainty and raise energy prices.
On Thursday morning, Dutch wholesale gas prices, the European standard, rose by up to 25 per cent.
Gazprom blamed the cuts on delayed deliveries of Siemens Energy equipment in Canada for maintenance. That argument was rejected by Germany's energy regulator.
Uniper, Germany's largest importer of Russian gas, said deliveries from Russia were a quarter of what had been agreed upon, but that the missing volumes could be obtained from other sources.
Gas flows to Italy were also reduced, while Czech power utility CEZ reported a similar reduction in its Russian gas supplies.
OMV, an Austrian energy company, also stated that Gazprom had alerted it of a slowdown in gas delivery.
The reduction in shipments comes as the continent prepares to replenish winter reserves while vowing to minimise its reliance on Russian gas in the future.
The drop in supplies from Gazprom to Germany is a warning sign that might cause issues for Europe's largest economy this winter, according to the director of the country's energy regulator, who spoke to a newspaper on Thursday.
"It would significantly worsen our situation," Klaus Mueller told the Rheinische Post daily.
"We could perhaps get through the summer as the heating season is over. But it is imperative that we fill the storage facilities to get through the winter."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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